A Thousand Reasons (To be a Feminist)

Last Thursday, International Womens’ Day, Linda Grant found herself trending on Twitter. This was after tweeting about the fact that feminists fought hard for the things women take for granted now.  Her timeline became an avalanche of retweets from other women telling their own stories of sexist behaviour, way back when and even now. Read more about it here, on the Guardian website.  Today the archive of theses tweets goes live here, at http://athousandreasons.com/

The War on Women

I’ve been trying to keep this blog for poetry but I feel so disturbed and appalled by what is happening to women in the United States of America, that I am going to start posting about it here.

A fifteen year old girl is being accused of murder because she had a still-born baby at 36 weeks of her pregnancy. She faces a life-sentence…as I saw this, my father read this to me, from today’s Guardian newspaper: “…where infant mortality is on a par with Botswana…”. Where? Mississippi…where the above girl is being criminalised for losing her baby.

broadcast #3

“Fear is the mother of deception” Is fear another face of necessity, or just the same pantheon? The mother of invention… a.n.mother…Mother Night, Mother Earth, the ///immaculate\\\ virgin who gave birth… Where is the line between necessity and fear…apparently a ///veil\\\ is drawn over this~

Occupy Mother London

From Spring Equinox to Summer Solstice this year, I spent a significant amount of time exploring the small patch of the Square Mile encompassing Fleet Street, Ludgate Hill and Cheapside. Walking, taking photos, thinking and experiencing this, one of the most ancient and earliest settled parts of London. The site of much archaeology, mythology, conjecture and rumour. And finance.

I wrote thirteen poems incorporating my experiences of this complex place, many of them weaving personal experience of being a woman and a mother, with this area of the City of London. The poems became a map, Amniotic City, thanks to the artistic talent and skill of my best friend, and is now the first collection of poems I have self-published.

I took some of the maps up to Occupy St Paul’s this week, feeling a surge of energy there, in that space I have haunted, which gave me hope that it is possible to change this frightening and untenable situation that we, the 99% find ourselves in.

People are busy, determined, friendly and ready to talk. The site is well organised, with a superb Information tent and Tent City University with a full timetable of workshops and talks going on. More support and ‘new blood’ is needed to go and occupy as the current occupiers get worn out and lives cannot be put on hold forever.

Do not believe what you read: the tents ARE occupied (of course) and these are people who believe so fervently and strongly about what thay are doing, that they have managed to put their normal everyday commitments to one side for a time.

Go and experience it for yourself if you can. I wish I could say that I would go up there and spend some time being an occupier but as a single parent of a four year old that option is not possible.

That this occupation is taking place on one of the most ancient, important and contested sites of power in London does not surprise me.

It’s poetry in motion.